Best Deal?

NEWBiker0928 Posts: 3
edited August 2014 in Road buying advice
Hey all,
I am fairly new to cycling and am planning to make a road bike purchase soon. There's an overwhelming amount of detail in the road bike world that's making selecting the right bike a serious challenge for me. Hopefully you guys can help me figure out which bike would best suit my needs and what the best deal might be.

-I just moved to Denver (from FL) so am expecting to encounter some serious climbing
-I don't plan on riding competitively, just for exercise
-I do hope to achieve the fitness level required to push myself to 100mile rides, so comfort is a key factor in a bike

The first issue I encountered was deciding whether to purchase a new bike vs a used one. A new bike would obv be safer, with manufacturer warranty and bike shop servicing. But for the same price the LBS charges on new bikes, I see much higher end models with better components on craigslist(CL). What other considerations should I make in this regard?

With that being said, there are several bikes I am considering. Which of the following bikes is the best deal? Also, are there notable differences between these bike types/geometries/components that would make them a good or bad fit for a beginner?

Here's what I've found (They all have the right frame size to fit me)

1.) 2013 Orbea Orca B105 (Full Carbon w/ Shimano 105s) on sale for $1,699
2.) 2015 Specialized Allez (aluminum w/ Shimano Tiagra) $1,179
3.) 2013 Specialized Allez (aluminum w/ Shimano 105s) $1,200

The 2015 Allez has integrated brake cables and a much nicer paint (looks matter just a little bit)
But the 2013 Allez, for essentially the same price has upgraded, albeit older, components. 15' Tiagra vs 13' 105s.. Better Deal?

Then, the 13' Orbea is only $500 more than the specialized bikes and is FULL Carbon. Although, after test riding, I noticed the full carbon orbea is only slightly lighter than the specialized bikes, but it is stiff and aggressively positioned.

CL seems to have some good deals I can't ignore.
4.) 2013 Specialized Allez (Unknown components/awaiting reply/assuming tiagra) Apparently Unridden $700
5.) Specialized Secteur Elite (Uknown year/components/awaiting reply) Apparently Unridden $800
6.) Cannondale Synapse Full Carbon Bike (unknown year/105 compenents) Updated Bontrager Saddle + pedals $1450
7.) 2013 Orbea Orca B105 (Full Carbon w/ S.105s) Apparently Unridden $1450
8.) Tommasini Fire (Steel Frame, Carbon Fork, Dura Ace components) $1450

The 13' Allez seems like a good deal, but I used to ride a Giant Defy w/105, too much of a downgrade?
Same with Secteur (although I imagine a more comfortable ride if the fork is carbon and the more upright position)
I know nothing of Cannondale Carbon bikes. Anyone have info on the comfort or performance of the full carbon synapse bikes? This seems like a good deal if the bike is in good shape.
13' Orbea Orca B105 is the one I am most interested in. I'll save a few hundred bucks compared to the bike shop's NEW b105, and the CL one seems unused and flawless. Worth the savings to have no warranty? Or, does anyone know if Orbea has lifetime warranty on their frames? Does such a thing even exist in the bike industry?
Finally, anyone know anything about steel frames? or the Tommasini company? apparently theyre hand built in Italy, and the dura ace compenents are appealing. I imagine I could safely commute with a steel frame, but not sure about the weight.

Honestly, I am between the New Orbea from LBS vs the CL one. But any insight into the other bikes would be greatly appreciated. I am open to suggestions on which would be a better deal or better fit for me (a newb). I recognize I am a little bit over my head in the bike selection game. But these questions are hard to articulate inside of an actual bike shop. For example, today I was questioning a sales rep about the differences between allez and secteur, but when it became clear that I was not purchasing today, the rep promptly gave me her card, politely told me to give her a call when I wanted to test ride them this week (it was raining) and moved on to a middle aged gentelmen who looked eager to buy something. I wasn't offended, but I came here hoping you guys could actually take the time to help me out, since your obv not interested in the sale commission (as the rep clearly was).

Looking forward to future discussion

Thanks for the help,



  • iga
    iga Posts: 155
    Buy the new Orbea. The world and his wife ride a Specialized so it's a bit different and still a great bike. The saving on the second hand one isn't worth it my opinion. The big caveat being that it fits you. If it was me though I'd have the Tommasini, but I've got a soft spot for steel frames.
    FCN 7
    Aravis Audax, Moulton TSR
  • styxd
    styxd Posts: 3,234
    Tommasini Fire, no doubt about it
  • gabriel959
    gabriel959 Posts: 4,227
    I would get the brand new Orbea (they have lifetime warranty) or the Tommasini, the one that fits best really.
    Commuting / Winter rides - Jamis Renegade Expert
    Pootling / Offroad - All-City Macho Man Disc
    Fast rides Cannondale SuperSix Ultegra
  • Thanks for the input guys. The new orbea was fast on the test ride, and I imagine I would really enjoy taking it on long group rides and such. I will be meeting with the Tommasini Fire owner this weekend. I've never ridden steel, but I'm looking forward to testing it out.
  • kingstonian
    kingstonian Posts: 2,847
    If the Tommasini fits, buy it.
  • I'm for the Tommasini. Its a fantastic bike for the price, and if you look after steel, it'll last you a very long time. In a couple of years, upgrade the group set or wheels (if you need to) and it'll feel like a new bike!
  • smoggysteve
    smoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    muppetteer wrote:
    I'm for the Tommasini. Its a fantastic bike for the price, and if you look after steel, it'll last you a very long time. In a couple of years, upgrade the group set or wheels (if you need to) and it'll feel like a new bike!

    Stainless Steel is not easy to weld and is prone to fatigue where the Chromium used to weld the joints is. They are not as long lasting as you would immediately imagine.